Homemade mochi, or daifuku, are filled with a delicious sweet red bean paste. Chewy and sweet rice cakes make for the perfect gluten-free, vegan or vegetarian appetizer, snack, or dessert. We use a mochi machine to do most of the work in this recipe.
Our mochi filled with sweet red bean recipe
We are making the delicious and more popular type of daifuku and that is mochi filled with sweet red bean paste. We are using a mochi-making machine to create the smooth rice cake dough. We are taking sweet rice in its natural form and letting the mochi-making machine do the work and pounding it into a fine and glutinous dough. It is so delicious when it is freshly made this way!
We like a bit of red bean paste and more of the chewy sweet rice cake on the outside. However, if you like more sweet red bean paste inside your mochi, then add as much filling as you prefer.
What is mochi?
Daifuku or Daifuku Mochi is a type of Japanese sweet. It’s a popular Japanese snack that’s generally accompanied with a cup of green tea. Mochi (pronounced MOE-chee) is a Japanese dessert made from mochigome, or sweet glutinous rice flour. The little sticky rice cakes are a staple of Japanese food and culture.
The time-consuming technique of pounding boiling or steamed rice, generally the sticky mochigome kind, into a thick and homogeneous paste is the first step in making mochi. The most frequent filling for daifuku is red bean paste, however, some are also filled with white bean paste (shiroan).
Because of its chewy texture, eating mochi requires additional caution and attention, as well as taking little bits of this sticky delight.
Key ingredients used for this mochi recipe
Sweet rice – We are using short-grain sweet rice. Another type of short-grain cultivar of Japonica rice is Japanese glutinous rice or sweet rice (also known as mochigome or mochi rice). Glutinous rice grains are opaque, shorter, and rounder, and are commonly used to produce mochi (rice cakes), traditional sweets such as sekihan, and snacks such as rice crackers.
Red bean paste – This is the most frequently used filling type for daifuku. There are two varieties of red bean filling: koshian (fine texture) and tsubuan (firm texture) (coarse texture). We like both and have used the fine texture paste for this recipe. Feel free to choose the filling texture that suits your liking.
Where can I find sweet red bean paste?
The best place to find the sweet red bean paste is at a local Asian market or grocery store. You can also find it online. Here is a link to one we found.
We absolutely love our mochi-making machine! If you love fresh rice cakes/mochi, then we would say it is totally worth the investment. Fresh rice cakes/mochi is seriously so delicious! Here is one we found online if you’re in the market for one.
A great gluten-free, vegan or vegetarian dessert or snack
Enjoy our mochi by themselves as a dessert, for breakfast, or a sweet snack. They are so easy to make, gluten-free, and a healthier option than most sweet treats. The rice cake machine does most of the work. The whole family, including kids, is going to love this mochi with sweet red bean filling!
How long will fresh mochi last? How to freeze mochi?
It’s best if you eat it within 24 hours. We recommend keeping it at room temperature and out of the fridge for the best flavor. If you can’t finish them all within 24 hours, store them in a zip-lock plastic bag in the fridge overnight or freeze them. Before freezing, dust the mochi with additional cornstarch to keep them from sticking together and place them in a zip-lock bag. For the best flavor, we recommend eating it within a month of freezing them. You may defrost them by leaving them out on the counter for an hour or heating them in 10-second bursts until they are thawed.
- Rinse the sweet rice with cold water until the water runs clear. Repeat as many times necessary until the water is clear (about 6-7 times).
- Soak the sweet rice in cold water for 24 hours at room temperature on the counter.
- After 24 hours, strain the sweet rice with a fine mesh colander. Leave it in the colander to allow it to continue to drain for about 30 minutes.
- Put water in the bottom of your rice cake/mochi machine according to its instructions. There should be a compartment where you put the water under the pot in the machine.
- Place the pot back in the machine, based on your particular machine model. Place all of the sweet rice in the pot.
- Push the “Steam” button on your rice cake/mochi machine.
- While the sweet rice is steaming, boil about ¼ cup of water. We usually do this in a coffee cup and warm the water up in the microwave. Add the salt and sugar into the hot water and mix together well until salt and sugar dissolves. Set aside for later.
- When the sweet rice is done steaming, open the lid and wait for 20 minutes until all of the steam has released.
- After 20 minutes is up, push the “Pound” button on the machine.
- Intermittently throughout the “pound” process, pour in about ¼ of the sugar/saltwater mixture you made earlier. Wait a bit and pour in another ¼ of the sugar/saltwater mixture. It takes about 45 minutes for the machine to pound all of the sweet rice (the machine we have). Each machine could be a little different and take a longer or shorter amount of time. Check the sweet rice at the halfway point of the 45 minutes. Then continue to let it pound at 10-minute increments (up to 45 minutes) until the rice is pounded very finely like mochi.
- Once it’s finely pounded, then stop the machine and unplug it.
- Dust your hands with cornstarch powder. Grab about a golf ball size of the pounded rice cake.
- Add 1 Tbsp of red bean paste in the middle (you can add more or less to your liking).
- Close up the rice cake around the red bean paste. Roll it into a golf ball-like shape again. Flatten it out gently, or create whatever mochi shape you prefer.
- Dust it again with cornstarch so they don’t stick together.
- Continue making the mochi until all of the rice cake is used up.
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